Category Archives: Religious Education Updates

Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you, volunteers!  We have been signing up volunteers for teaching, assisting, and facilitating religious education classes, and we have volunteers for most of our classes until pageant rehearsals in December.  We still have a couple spots in October, and plenty of opportunities during and after the service during pageant rehearsals in December.  If you missed the sign-ups for this fall, there are still many opportunities starting again in January. 
 
Thank you to the following volunteers, who have made September classes happen:  Carol Cooper,  Amanda Clifton, Dave Letts and Roxanne LaForest
 
Please also offer thanks to our volunteers who signed up for October and November:  Amanda Clifton, Kurt Sonoras, Elspeth Hetrick, Vicki Reidleberger, Lisa Janetski, Sasha King, Jessie Parham, Monica and Scott Hughes, and Linda Bozelli.

RE-Flections: Moments & Community

Autumn is a fleeting season.  It is also a glorious season.  The hues of the trees change from a comforting peaceful green to flashes of yellow and red and orange.  In summer and winter, they may blur into green leaves and black branches.  In spring, the beauty is colorful but muted.  You cannot ignore the trees in the Autumn.  I am here!  But if you are not careful – you will miss it.  The leaves will crash to the ground, and all that will be left is dark branches of the trees against the cold sky and the memory.  So, don’t forget to look! 
 
You may be noticing that our children seem more present on Sundays this autumn.  They have been joining us for more parts of the service, sharing Joys and Sorrows with us as well as the usual storytime in services.  Coffee Hour will still begin while they are completing their classes, and so we will keep the doors to the Religious Education wing closed until 11:45am. (Your animated, delightful voices are hard for children to ignore without wanting to join you right away!)  When their classes end at 11:45am, they will join the rest of the congregation again. Older children will emerge on their own, and younger children with a teacher or parent. 
 
As they join us, our congregation’s children will be hard to miss – flashing by us, like the colorful autumn leaves dancing in the wind.  They say the most amazing things in their classes, and sometimes you will get a taste of it in the services.  They might blurt something out in the most unexpected places. Into moments we expect to be silent, a voice might exclaim or insist on being heard.  I invite you to embrace these moments and our children because they are fleeting – if we are not careful, the moment to smile instead of frown will be lost.  Too soon they will be grown, and the lessons and memories we give them – that smile or frown will be carried with them into their adult lives. 
 
On a practical note: if you see a child carrying a precarious plate, offer to help them by carrying their plate to a table or offering them a seat at the table.  If they are running too close to an unstable elder, provide assistance and/or offer the reminder to walk carefully.  Most children want to be helpful.  If you see a need, offer a helping hand and, of course, a smile.
 
Yours in Fellowship,
Heather Cleland-Host
Director of Lifespan Religious Education


Our Whole Lives (OWL) Facilitator Training

September 27-29

Elementary (K-1/4-6) with Christina Fairman and Hudson Nummerdor
Secondary (7-9/10-12) with Deborah Dean-Ware and Carolyn Meagher

Honest, accurate information about sexuality changes lives. It dismantles stereotypes and assumptions, builds self-acceptance and self-esteem, fosters healthy relationships, improves decision making, and has the potential to save lives. For these reasons and more, we are proud to offer Our Whole Lives (OWL) Facilitator Training. This is a comprehensive, lifespan sexuality education training for those who would like to teach this curriculum to children and youth.

Training will be offered for Elementary and Secondary Our Whole Lives Facilitation at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland & Creative 360 through a joint venture between the United Church of Christ, Midland, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland.

Participants must attend all sessions of the program to be certified as OWL facilitators.

The training schedule for each age level is:

– Friday 9/27 1:00 – 8:00pm at UUFoM (dinner and snacks provided)
– Saturday 9/28 9:00am – 8:00pm at UUFoM (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and       snacks provided)
– Sunday 9/29 12:00 – 3:00pm at Creative 360 (lunch provided)

(worship opportunities available at both UCC and UUFoM on Sunday morning)

Cost: $250 per person. Registration fee includes training sessions and all meals and snacks as indicated.  Participants are responsible for the required materials, travel, and hotel accommodations. Inexpensive lodging options and home hospitality options available.

Please fill out registration form and complete payment to guarantee a spot at the training by September 6. Register online at https://www.uccmidland.org/our-whole-lives

A special note to members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Midland who are interested in supporting this training (even if you are not able to attend training yourself):

You too can help support this ministry and the upcoming local training in September!!

* Offer in-home hospitality for out-of-town participants. If you are willing to open space in your home to provide an accessible place to stay contact jenn@uccmidland.org. Participants choosing in-home stay over the cost of a hotel will make a donation of $50 to support OWL programming.

* Donate food, beverage, and snack items to help feed participants while they train.  Sign up for needed items at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1cDqQgU5fWCTHwqkDzMMh2-cekr2lsq_ddU1F4viA248/edit?usp=sharing

Thank you so much for your continued support of this life-changing program!!!

Jenn Ringgold, Director of Educational Ministries, UCC jenn@uccmidland.org

Heather Cleland-Host, Director of Religious Education, UUFoM dreheather@uufom.org

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting

August 22 at 7:00pm in UL301The Lifespan Religious Education Team will be meeting to plan the 2019-2020 Religious Education Programming. If you are interested in helping the team with planning or are just curious what we do, feel free to join us! (Please email the Director of Religious Education Heather Cleland-Host (dreheather@uufom.org), if you are coming, so she can send you an agenda).

2019-2020 Religious Education Program

Many Paths, One Community

Next year’s religious education program will be an exploration of the world religions and how Unitarian Universalism relates to the myriad of religions and philosophies that we draw upon. We will be focusing on five main world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), Humanism, and Earth-Based Traditions (Paganism, Native American traditions, etc).

Lower Elementary – More than one way to answer a question: The youngest children will focus on the different ways that religions of the world answer the questions of how to live our lives and behave toward one another.

Upper Elementary – Stories of what is sacred: Older children will explore the core stories told by different religions and the basic beliefs of each religion.

Teens and adults – Sharing a community that has different beliefs: Teens (and adults) will learn about each of these religions and reach out to religious communities to learn more about each other.

The curricula we will be drawing on will include:

  • Moral Tales (Tapestry of Faith)
  • Love will Guide Us (Tapestry of Faith)
  • Sacred Stories & Picture Book – World Religions
  • Crossing Paths (Middle school and up)
Some of the possible communities we will reach out to:
  • Temple Bethel (Jewish)
  • Islamic Center of Midland
  • Christian churches (teen choice)
  • Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways
* For Buddhism and Hinduism, we may have to reach outside of our area.

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting

Thursday, May 9 8:00pm in UL301 

The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to support and develop the religious education program at the Fellowship.  If you are interested in helping on the team or just interested in knowing more about what we do, feel free to attend our meeting and see what it is all about! Contact Heather Cleland-Host, dreheather@uufom.org for more information ahead of the meeting, especially if you are interested in joining the team.

Children & Youth Religious Education Program Update

Spring Block, Changing the World (Sundays, April 14 – May 12)

In the fall, the Religious Education Program focused on who we are as a UU community.  Who is our community? Who are we as a congregation? In January, we began exploring how this community helps us shape our identities, values and beliefs – and how to live them out.  We are closing our UUnique Journeys with a Spring Block dedicated to the ways we can live our values and change the world.

Junior and Senior Children’s Circles: The Strength of Community to Make a Better World
Age 4-grade 2  in UL303 and grades 3-5  in UL302.

Secondary Lodestone Program: Community Outreach – Making a Better World
Grades 6-10 in LL103.

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting

April 11, 7:30pm in UL301 

The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to support and develop the religious education program at the Fellowship.  If you are interested in helping on the team or just interested in knowing more about what we do, feel free to attend our meeting and see what it is all about! Contact Heather Cleland-Host, dreheather@uufom.org for more information ahead of the meeting, especially if you are interested in joining the team.

Upcoming Religious Education Events

UUFoM Parents’ Circle Meeting
February 10 at 12:00pm in UL302

Light lunch & childcare provided

The Parents’ Circle is made up of families with children through 12th grade, gathering together for discussions, activities, potlucks, and more.  We also have a private Facebook group for safe sharing. Elspeth Hetrick has been managing the Facebook group and leading us on adventures.

We will be holding monthly meetings again on second Sundays.  We are starting with meeting after the service during the winter months for discussion and munchies.  Discussion topics will be chosen by parents attending.  Some possible topics: “How is our parenting impacted by our religious journey?”  “How do we equip our kids to deal with religious bullying?”  Come join us for great company and conversation!

Lifespan Religious Education Team Meeting
February 7 at 7:00pm in UL302
The Lifespan Religious Education Team meets monthly to support and develop the religious education program at the Fellowship.  If you are interested in helping on the team or just interested in knowing more about what we do, feel free to attend our meeting and see what it is all about! (Contact Heather Cleland-Host, Director of Religious Education for more information ahead of the meeting, especially if you are interested in joining the team).